But the Cosmos are not like many professional soccer clubs or organizations as they expect to win championships and trophies every year. So, those were two losses too many for the team and its supporters.
After splitting the 2018 National Premier Soccer League season between Hofstra University and Rocco B. Commisso Stadium in Manhattan, the Cosmos decided to call one venue home for its regular season matches — Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y.
They played their home Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match — a 2-1 win over Black Rock FC — and an international friendly against St. Pauli of Germany, which turned out to be another victory.
Buoyed by a solid defense, the addition of Albanian international Ansi Agolli and a an NPSL Best XI performance by striker Bledi Bardic, the Cosmos captured the North Atlantic Conference crown with a 13-0-1 record. They won three consecutive matches in the playoffs before dropping a 3-1 home decision to Miami FC in the final as Dylan Mares tallied twice for the winners Aug. 3.
A week later, the Cosmos embarked a 10-game campaign in the NPSL Members Cup, which included some of the best NPSL teams. For the most part, they acquitted themselves well with a 7-1-2 mark, but had two major glitches.
Leading the Milwaukee Torrent 2-0 with five minutes remaining, the team conceded two goals and saw two precious home points fly out the window with a 2-2 draw. In a must-win home game against Detroit City FC Oct. 12, the Cosmos suffered a 2-1 defeat, which cost them the title.
They finished second to Detroit (8-1-1, 25)
With the NPSL not allowing professional players to participate in its league in 2020, the Cosmos had to find another league in which to compete. They joined the National Independent Soccer Association but will have to wait to compete until the fall season, which probably will kick off in August.
It was not known how many players will return to the club.
Thursday: Local story No. 5